Monthly Archives: February 2008

Do the Do

February 28, 2008 Mike

Sportsclips! Someone put free VIP coupons in all the boxes at work. I was WEEKS overdue for a haircut, so I went in. Awesome! I got a new do I really like. No more combing my hair back. I’ve had a lot of compliments that I look younger. :-) At my age, that’s a good thing!

Not only that, but with the VIP treatment they wash your hair and massage the scalp while you lay in a massage chair! Then they top it off with a hot towel on the face for a few minutes. Very relaxing!

To top it off? The franchise owner/manager is a Christian and wants to do some promotional stuff with the station. I gave her card to our Community Relations guy.

Pretty good haircut experience all around. See ya in three weeks!

Can I Get A Testimony

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. (not that anyone really reads this blog!) I’ve been busy getting my chapel presentation together. I was quite nervous about it and so I have been preparing. I wanted to be transparent about some things in my past and that always feels like a risky thing. Through prayer and preparation I really feel like God gave me a good message to wrap around my testimony. Judging from the reaction during, and e-mails and comments after, God really came through! He gave me His peace and strength while I was delivering the message. What was really cool was the conversations that followed throughout the day. I was able to have some nice talks with a couple of people about some issues in their lives. The way God brought me through I think reminded some others how awesome He is at bringing about change in circumstances that really show His character of love for His children!

Bottom line? God is sooooo good!

Tucson Sunsets

They are the best in the world! OK, I haven’t been everywhere in the world. However, they are the best of anywhere I’ve lived! That’s saying something because West Texas is certainly known for it’s wonderful sunsets. As great as they are, I’d have to say that Tucson has ’em beat (not like it’s a competition!). Here’s a shot from last night:

021908Sunset450

Pretty awesome! I’ve seen even better, but this one I happened to capture on my digital camera. I barely made it too!

I had to work late last night. I left right at 6:00. Sunset is about 6:13. As I was driving home, I noticed that there were some high clouds in the western sky and I certainly knew what that meant! I had less that 15 minutes to get home, change, grab my camera and drive to a spot to take some pictures!

I had to hustle, but I just made it. I drove up W. Magee to near the Pima Canyon Trailhead. The sunset was spectacular! I got a few shots, came home to the apartment to choose the best two or three, resized ’em, and uploaded ’em to my web site.

Friday Snow

The rain and snow yesterday was AWESOME! It chilly rained all day here at the apartment/work (only a mile apart). The snow level was pretty low on the mountains, when you could see them! I brought my camera to work and at lunch I was gonna get a couple of shots. The clouds had parted just enough to see the bright white on the mountains across the street. So, I was gonna get a couple of great shots from the Pima Canyon Trailhead right after I went to the bank. By the time I finished with the bank, the clouds had moved in again! Bummer.

So, after work, I drove 25 minutes to Oracle. The elevation there is about 4,500 feet (2,600 here at the apartment). I put my car clock on the temperature read out and watched it go from 41 here to 32 there. It was SNOWING! Very pretty with the ground covered and good sized flakes. It was getting dark though, so no pictures. At least I got to see it up close! Did I mention that I love snow?

We were under a Winter Storm Warning down to 3,000 feet last night.  Up to 1″ was possible down to 2,500!  But, as the Sun is coming up this morning, no snow :-(  No Sun yet either.  The picture taking of the beautiful white mountains is gonna have to wait.

Like an Old Friend

I just finished (what used to be) my usual hike part way up Pusch Peak. It was hard work. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but it’s tough when take several months off. I haven’t made the partial climb since October! That’s like 1/3 of a year!!! Too long.

Still, it was exactly how I remembered it. Beautiful boulders, cacti, the sweet smell of the desert. I do like it here so. The first part of the hike is the Linda Vista Trail. It’s a nice meandering loop that’s nice for a more casual hike, although the first 3/4 of a mile does have an elevation gain of about 300 feet. It’s also a horse trail, so there is “hockey” to avoid :-) After the first 3/4 of a mile you come to a small metal sign that marks where you hang a right. It’s shortly after that that the real climb begins! Here’s a picture looking up to my eventual destination. The first saddle is maybe another 1/2 – 3/4 of a mile of trail, but it’s another 700 feet up!

LookUpHiking

The incline works the lungs and works the legs! (my favorite part) If you keep going you can get to the top of Pusch Peak. I’ve done it twice. Last time when Michael was here for Spring Break. It’s an AWESOME hike if you have all day (6 1/2 hours) and lots of water! This is the best web page I’ve seen that explains the whole climb: www.u.arizona.edu/~sandiway/hikes/puschpeak/index.html

Going down is especially good for the quads. Care must be taken because of the loose rock. Picking my way down the steep slope using my quads to control my descent has to be my favorite part! I also like the wildlife. Usually quail and lots of lizards. Lots of flies too in the Summer. Bummer. Hopefully no rattlesnakes! Haven’t seen one yet in two years plus :-)

When I’m in shape I can go up and down in under an hour and a half. Today took me two hours. I was encouraged! First, I didn’t die! Second, I wasn’t in as much pain (lungs nor legs) as I thought I would be in. I always pray beforehand for God to keep me from accident and injury. To use the exercise to build muscle and burn fat. On the way down I pray for sure footing. If you were with me you’d here me say, “Thank You Lord,” when I have little slips that don’t turn into big slips!

Whadda ya say we do it again tomorrow?!

Apartment Living

or as my friend Robert says, “compartment” living. There are pluses and minuses to it all. I was reminded of a minus this morning as I was getting up early as usual. (before 5am this morning!) Some days I wake up and feel like cleaning, like tidying up, like picking up around here.  I like to take advantage of these moments because they are fleeting.  If you have ever been by my place you know what I mean :-)  Problem is, I can’t run the water while I do dishes, I can’t run the vacuum, I can’t shred credit card offers (tell ’em to stop already!) at 5 or 6 am.  I mean, I could, but I wouldn’t be very popular with the neighbors.

On the plus side, I don’t have to mow the lawn or rake the rocks (It’s an Arizona thing).  I don’t have to replace the water heater if it breaks.  I don’t even pay the water bill! I have an AWESOME view off the deck here.  Overlooking Oro Valley to the Tortolitas to the north, Pusch Peak across the street to the East. Awesome!  I can’t afford a house in this neighborhood, so the “compartment” is good for the view.

Back on the negative side.  I am not building any equity.  I’m providing that for someone else.  I’m afraid it’s unavoidable for now.  I either need to make a lot more money, get married, move back to Texas (where houses are cheaper), or a combination thereof in order to buy a house again.  If I want to stay in the shadow of the Catalina’s, I’ll have to get married or make a bunch more $$.  I guess I can’t move the Catalina’s to Texas :-)

OK.  It’s 6:16 a.m.  I guess I’ll find something quiet to do, or take a nap.  The urge to clean has passed anyway :-)

Mt. Lemmon Again!

If you get to me blog through my web site, chances are good you’ve already noticed my latest pictures from Mt. Lemmon. It’s so nice up there! I really like it, especially in the snow. Here’s the best picture I took yesterday:

SnowStump

I was on my way back down the mountain at about the 8,000 foot level when I pulled to the side of the road and walked into the woods a little ways and snapped this shot. The snow was perfect for making a snowman! But I didn’t :-)

I’ve been filling in for Alan Cook on the Arizona news. That means I’ve been getting to work about 3am and leaving somewhere around 11 or Noon. Yesterday, I planned to take a nap and then head up the hill. I left the apartment around 1:30 p.m.

Once I got across town I then started up Catalina Highway. the road is sooooo fun to drive! It twists and turns and it’s great fun to shift, down shift, take the corners tight, you get the idea. The problem is the traffic is often slow, or at least slower than I want to go. Yesterday was the WORSE! I got behind a van that was behind an SUV and we were averaging 30 mph. Even the speed limit is 35! I have to admit, I was fighting to keep my patience. They finally peeled off, but not before I was almost to the top! It took longer than necessary, but it was scenic!

There were lots of waterfalls. The snow was melting and running down the hill and eventually into the Rillito River. It’s the river that runs through Tucson, but rarely has water in it. It’s been running all week! Anyway, further up Mt. Lemmon, there’s one spot where there were icicles all over this short cliff. Really pretty. There was no good spot to stop, or I would’ve gotten a picture.

Once at the top, I stopped at Ski Valley and took a couple shots of the skiers and snowboarders. It looked like fun! Then I headed down the mountain and stopped along the way for the pictures on my web site.

One cool thing on the drive down. The road is just as windy! and really fun to drive. At least three times as I came up on slower traffic, they used the pull outs to let me by! I waved my appreciation as I hurried by. What a fun afternoon!!!

Snow in Oro Valley!

122806 Sow Pusch Peak

Yesterday was so cool. Literally. 40’s most of the day with a chilly rain. The snow level was down to about 3,800 feet at one point in the late morning. You could see the snow piling up on Pusch Peak across the street from work. AWESOME!

I filled in for Alan yesterday, so I got off work about Noon:30 and I was driving home in the light rain.  I checked my temperature sensor in the car. 39 degrees! I was excited about the forecast. Up to 18″ of snow on the top of Mt. Lemmon. I was already planning my trip for Wednesday afternoon.

I tuned in Erin Christiansen on KGUN 9 On Your Side at 5:00 & 6:00 to see the pretty snow pictures. They showed video from Oracle. 2-4″ fell there!  That’s just above 4,000 feet and maybe 1/2 hour up the road.  If I wasn’t so tired after filling in on the early morning shift, I would have gone.

I was tired and in bed a little after 7:00.  Around 8:10 I was awakened by the wind kicking up and then what sounded like sleet hitting the bedroom window. I got up and looked out.  It was sideways sleet and/or snow pellets!  My rubber tree plant was blown over, so I went out to upright it.  (it’s probably frozen right now)  My deck was covered in snow pellets with it drifting on the side!  The desert below was actually covered.  SNOW in Oro Valley!  It came down fast and furious for about 10 minutes and that was it.

This has been one of the snowiest years in the western U.S.  Same for parts of the Great Lakes and Midwest.  It’s been cold too. I f I had more time this morning, I would document all of the cold and snow in China and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Bottom line is, the Sun is coming out of it’s warm phase. Global warming believers may be in for a rude awakening, although it may take a few years for it to sink in. I’m hoping they don’t get higher carbon taxes passed first.  It’s just a waste of money that will weaken the economy.

On the bright side. I get to visit the snow on Mt. Lemmon tomorrow!!!